The Magic Behind a Two Column List

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Creating a Two Column List
Hosted by
Maria Laurin

EPISODE 108

Creating a Two Column List

Thank you for tuning in to episode 108! Today’s short and sweet solo show will primarily focus on the hidden truth behind a powerful list. If you’re listening in real-time, you know we are one month away from finishing up the year’s first quarter, and it’s a perfect time to look over the past couple of months to analyze what is working and what we can abandon.

With so much uncertainty in the world, there is no better time to create a solid plan to finish out the quarter strong! So let’s get started!!

Many of us are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. It might take some time to get things back to a recognizable state, but even still, we’re operating in an economy that looks a lot different than it did pre-pandemic. So you might be wondering what is the best course of action to take if uncertainty is the only certain thing. I would love to start by looking at the things that have been positive and working. Let’s start with a two-column list.

Title the left column WINS and the right column PITFALLS. You can do this with your personal life or business, or better yet, both, but pick one to focus on first. Starting with the left column, write down every small win. The reason for creating this list is twofold. For some reason, it’s hard to recognize all of the accomplishments if we keep them locked away in our minds. When we write things down, we can see just how successful or productive we were, but most importantly, we can be grateful for the forward progress and blessings that we have in our lives. I like using the word pitfall for the right column because it implies that there was unsuspected difficulty with a task. The beauty of some pitfalls is that they might be a blessing in disguise. Some of our biggest successes will come from avoiding the actions that led to the pitfall list. Although the right-hand column might be a tiny bit tougher to make, it will be equally as important. Once you’ve finished your wins list, move over to the pitfall list and include all the things that derailed you from your goals, your ideal day, led to things unraveling, or something that didn’t work out. Once you’ve created your two lists, you can draw a line below each column, write the word YES under the WINS column, and write the word NO under the pitfall column.

Now it’s time to review the lists that you made. Take a moment and reflect on what went well that you included in the WINS column. Are you able to reproduce those results? If so, write down the action taken to achieve those results. If your goal was to wake up early and work out, the action to repeat might be to get to bed early. As you go down the list of things that worked well for you, you will start to notice that the hidden gem is the action taken to achieve these results. So many times, we look at the result as the win, but it is the action that should get all the credit. When we start to own each action that leads to results, we will soon find that each action we didn’t take leads to our pitfalls. So let’s move on to that list.

In keeping with the same example, let’s say that my biggest pitfall was waking up late and running out of time to do the things that I had planned. Sure, I could say that maybe I was overloading my schedule, but the true reward is admitting I would bed late. By owning my action, I can control it to produce the results that I want. I’ll share another example. I was coaching a friend who had listed being unable to work out most days of the week as a pitfall. When I asked why she felt that was happening, she mentioned that her schedule was very inconsistent. When I pointed out that, as a business owner, she could make her own schedule, she realized that the real problem was not setting boundaries around her ideal workout times. As we dove in deeper and started to develop a plan, another funny little fact popped up as well. She stayed up late most nights watching TV. Admitting this action allowed her to take back control of her morning routine. The danger in making a blanket statement about not having control over a situation is that you’re at the mercy of each and every possible excuse. Our brains are wickedly smart, and we can quickly deflect unfulfilled responsibility to make reality less painful. So back to making that NO list. Using the staying up late pitfall as an example, you would write NO TV after 8 pm or no NO staying up past 9 pm. Now, these examples are just that, examples. You need to be transparent with yourself and really dig deep into why things don’t go as planned in order for this to work.

After creating your NO list, transfer those negatives into your YES list. So instead of telling yourself that you shouldn’t stay up past 9, you can change this statement into a positive present tense statement. You can change the previous NO statement to say, “I go to bed at nine, or I only watch TV on the weekends,” etc. There has been so much research done in affirming who you want to be in the present, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find it empowering to create this type of list.

Uncovering the hidden gem called -ACTION- that lives just beneath your wins and pitfalls will ultimately give you the power to decide how to tackle your days, weeks, months, and years.

Don’t forget to share this episode and look for me on Instagram @_handmadeceo. I would love to connect with you, and maybe you can tell me what NO statement you’re ready to change!

I’ll see you next time!!

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